Atmosphere And Weather

Preparing for a Hurricane

Joseph Malek's image for:
"Preparing for a Hurricane"
Image by: 

I once lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Back in 1993 the, "No Name Storm," caused extensive damage to my home. Believe me, the beautiful view of the Gulf was not worth the heartache and the losses that I suffered thereafter.

I was displaced from my home for more than a month, while each day I worked to make my home livable again. My advice is not to live in a place that can be struck by such violent storms. You see, it took me more than ten years afterward in which to sell that property. During that time several other storms came very close to causing more damage. To live in fear of the next storm that could very well destroy your home is nothing more than madness.

To me, preparing for a hurricane means just one thing. That is, find another place to live and get to that place at least three days before the storm hits. You see, the weather people really don't give a person enough time to find safe shelter out of the path of the storm. The truth of the matter is that hurricanes seldom go to exactly where they are predicted to go, and that's why the weather service only shows the public the cone of probability of the storm's path.

Tornadoes are also the result of a hurricane, and they can strike as far away as the outer most band of the cloud formation. That too could be several hundred miles from the storm's center. As a matter of fact, a small tornado hit my property and blew away the fence and blew several roof shingles off the roof. You really do have to travel very far away from the storm's center in order to be safe.

In that regard, experience is probably the best teacher and only then will you be sure that the storm won't strike the place where you go in order to save your life. More than once I fled in such a manner and staying in a Florida motel room for a few days is more expensive these days than it has ever been. Yes, you will also have to buy food for yourself and that costs a whole lot more than making your own meals.

A late departure can be the difference between life and death, because, by that time, the routes of escape are filled with tens of thousands of vehicles. Above all else, fill your gas tank as soon as you can and take food and water and your important papers, including the phone numbers of your insurance providers.

You will also need a credit card and a few hundred dollars cash. It should go without saying, pack a suitcase with a weeks worth of clothes and your personal hygiene items. Don't forget your flashlight and always keep your vehicle in top running condition.

As for your house, storm shutters are a good thing to have. Then again, I saw the total destruction of many square blocks of area, and if your property is within that area, it too will be reduced to rubble.

Sooner or later every person who lives near the coast will suffer the effects of a hurricane and particularly those people who live in Florida. You will have to flee for your life, while all of the momories of your past will most cretainly be blown or washed away. My advise to you is to not live in such a place just to enjoy the view and play in the Sunshine. Good luck and be careful.

More about this author: Joseph Malek

From Around the Web